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Cherry Mobile Flare X Hands-on, First Impressions: Alcatel Flash Plus Killer?

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We go hands-on with the Flare X!

The past few months have been a good one for consumers, but not as great for local brands. Many international bang-for-the-buck phones have been released in the Philippines that have stolen the thunder away from local brands. After a few months of relative silence, Cherry Mobile has finally released their own true bang-for-the-buck phone that can go toe-to-toe with the many international brands currently out there, specifically, the Alcatel Flash Plus. Meet the Flare X.

Cherry Mobile Flare X

  • 1.7GHz MediaTek 6752 octa-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch full HD IPS OGS display, Gorilla Glass 3, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 16GB of storage expandable via microSD card
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, Sony IMX214 sensor, BSI
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 KitKat with OTA for Lollipop
  • SRP: Php6,999

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Initial impressions: extremely well built with a fantastic looking display.

When you see the Flare X, you’re not going to mistake it for any other phone. The design is distinctly Flare, which may or may not appeal to you, depending on where you stand on the design language of the Flare series. The phone uses a plastic polycarbonate shell that surrounds the innards of the phone, similar to the ones that are in other Flare devices. The back of the phone is curved to facilitate better handling when you’re using the phone one handed.

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The volume and power buttons are located on the right side, are colored silver and are a little too small for our taste. The 3.5mm jack is located on the top of the phone, offset to the right side. The USB port is located on the bottom of the phone.

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Moving on to the display, the phone uses a 5.5-inch full HD display with OGS and Gorilla Glass 3. This is a big step up from the HD display on Alcatel’s Flash Plus, which only has an HD resolution display. We put the Flare X side by side against the Alcatel Flash Plus, and the display of the Flare X looks better in comparison, obviously.

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We couldn’t install AnTuTU thanks to the terribad internet in the venue, but we’re expecting the phone to go above 40K points in AnTuTu. In actual use, the Flare X felt really fast and zippy. While some people will hit the phone’s Android 4.4 KitKat OS, this was a conscious effort by Cherry Mobile to reduce bugs in the phone – if our experience with the Lollipop equipped Firefly Mobile Allure 64 LTE is any indication, the omission of Android 5.0 may be a boon rather than a bane.

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As for gaming, here’s our gaming test video.

And here’s our video initially comparing it to the FireFly Allure 64 LTE:

And that’s it for our hands-on. We have a review unit of our own to test, which we’ll be playing with in the near future. Also expect an unboxing video of the Cherry Mobile Flare X later tonight or early tomorrow.

Cherry Mobile’s Flare X is priced at Php 6,999, and will be hitting stores in July. The phone should have a nationwide presence by the end of July.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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72 Comments

  1. No Lollipop. But seriously, how DIFFICULT is it to preload very recent builds of Lollipop onto devices? Cloudfone announced a couple of 5K-ish PHP tablets with Intel Atom chips AND 5.1 LOLLIPOP out of the box; CM should have opted to install 5.1 out of the box instead of pushing it via OTA.

    Otherwise, that’s the only tangible complaint I have with this device. Most specs are competitive. CM has taken notice and that’s a boon for all of us.

    1. CloudFone’s devices use Intel’s chips, and Intel has a better track record when it comes to opening up their kernels so they can make the updates. MediaTek has a bad track record when it comes to giving access to their kernel. Cherry would rather delay the Lollipop update to 5.1 and instead offer Android 4.4 KitKat initially instead of offering a buggy Android 5.0 experience.

      1. Wrong. You’ll only need a 64-bit processor if an app you’re planning to run is compiled for 64-bit. Android Lollipop runs just fine on my Nexus 7 even its processor does not support 64-bit. Get your facts straight.

        1. Thanks for this tip! So in essence all of the MediaTek MT6592 32bit-Chipset are upgradeable to Lollipop:)

          Windows user

          1. Sadly, no. The decision on which processors will be compatible with Lollipop remains at the hands of a manufacturer. MediaTek isn’t so keen on releasing source code for their processors and I won’t hope for some sort of miracle from them given their track record of making their chips obsolete for an uncertain period of time.

    2. It’s not that easy..actually..susuyurin pa kasi ng R&D yung mga bugs ng Lollipop, doing so might delay the release of this phone. So kung ano ang ”stable” OS, dun sila magse-settle….

    3. Agree ako sainyo 3^ since di naman lagi nagbbgay ng update si CM prefer ko din ung stable OS kesa updated OS. pwera na lang kung branded phone yan 🙂

    4. The kitkat move is very smart actually. I root my phones and the biggest reason I skip from one version of OS to another is because of stability.

      Lollipop nga, dami ka naman issues. Frankly. my daily driver phone (OHD2.0) is running a stock debloated version of the JB 4.2.1 os, and it runs anything the playstore has. No regrets here.

    5. how difficult you say? hahaha! what are you comparing it with? intel chips? lol

      nagmamagaling ka na nga, di mo pa sinagad. you might want to check mediatek’s history at kung bakit “difficult” ang pag iimplement ng updates.

      wews~

      1. he’s telling the truth. lollipop is a buggy mess. and for your hatred for mediatek, you might want to reconsider,as they are now the largest supplier of SoCs in te world. next year we’ll start to see mediatek powered international brand flagships

    6. Bakit gustung-gusto niyo yung Lollipop? May Nexus 7 2013 ako and sobrang buggy niya kahit nasa Android 5.1.1 na siya. :((((( gusto ko mang bumalik sa Kitkat e hindi ko alam buksan yung bootloader thing tapos ayoko namang mag-root kaya hindi ko alam mag-full backup ng lahat ng files ko :(((( kaya nga kudos sa lahat ng mga manufacturers na nagdecide na kitkat ang OS ng released phones nila dahil for me, mas stable pa ang kitkat 4.4+ kaysa Lollipop 5+.

      1. SD Card functionality.

        Sa Kitkat, TINANGGAL ng Google ang kakayahan ng mga app na maglipat ng data mula internal storage (16GB sa Flare X) patungo sa SD card – kaya HINDI ka pwedeng maglipat ng document mula internal papuntang external storage sa ES File Explorer, or magtanggal ng video sa MX Player mula sa SD card. Kaya hindi mailagay ang buong Clash of Clans (APK at data file) sa SD card. Sa Lollipop, BINALIK ng Google ang functionality na yun. Kaya KRITIKAL na mayroong Lollipop ang mga bagong device, lalo’t hindi kalakihan ang mga internal storage ng mga bagong phone (Mapupuno agad ang 16GB sa apps, laro, at media files pa lang.)

        1. //HINDI ka pwedeng maglipat ng document mula internal papuntang external storage sa ES File Explorer, or magtanggal ng video sa MX Player mula sa SD card.//

          Ha? Ang di lang pwede maginstall ng apps sa SD card. Ano pinagsasabi mo tsong?

    7. While it is already a given that smartphone consumers are excited about the Android Lollipop OS running on their devices that also utilizes the 64-bit function of their unit’s CPU, the Android Kit-Kat OS, to date, is still the most stable version Android has. Not to mention better application compatibility. Android Lollipop 5.1.1 is still plagued with issues which are about to be addressed by Android 5.2 just before Android “M.”

  2. shet.. un lang nasabi ko hahaha! potential buyer na ako ng allure bigla tuloy ako nag dalawang isip.. haha!

  3. uhm, di ko nakita, pero may price naba to? sa specs looks more like Meizu m1 note killer, almost same same lang

    1. Dude I was going to reply to your original message and tell you the same thing. Haha! Yup. its the Jiayu S3. Im impressed CM managed to get this beast.

  4. Finally. The Jiayu S3, without having to go through the horrors of importation. Also with a lower SRP. They did a great job getting this.

  5. Sir I’m confused, in one website it says that this phone’s internal storage is upgradeable but in your review it doesn’t. XD

  6. Maypagka zenfone amg design nito.. Mukang mas okay to kesa sa allure ng firefly.. Ang lapad kasi talaga ng ilalim ng allure ang pangit sobra tignan hehe..panalo lang talaga sa aalure is ung finger print scanner..Pero mas maganda ata to.. Wait ko marelease para makita ko actual unit at matest :))

  7. Wrong. You’ll only need a 64-bit processor if an app you’re planning to run is compiled for 64-bit. Android Lollipop runs just fine on my Nexus 7 even its processor does not support 64-bit. Get your facts straight.

    1. Damn it, unbox. Looks like your commenting system is a bit broken. The reply is actually meant for @Duane Cabasal.

  8. Good, but not nearly good enough. The Elephone P7000 beats the Jiayu in total specs by boasting a bigger battery. However, it has one singularly important advantage.

    The makers say the P7000 supports all ROMs right out of the box, including standard Android straight from Google. You can slap Cyanogen/MIUI/whatever if you want as well since they supposedly make it easily to do those things specifically. Most of you guys are smart and know what this means: you don’t have to wait for carriers to update. You can grab your updates straight from your favorite source and flash to your hearts content with no hassle (supposedly).

    1. how does it work? siguro alam mo naman ang process ng paggamit ng custom roms. if its not made for your phone, it will only brick it. in short, you will always have to wait for someone to port custom roms specifically for your device just like everyone :p

  9. tingin ko mas ok pa rin ang Firefly allure when it comes to freebies unless CM adds a 2screen protector, 1x tempered galss and a transparent case which firefly allure offers at sigurado Flare X ay wala pang accessory,

  10. I hate to admit it but Cherry did it again and even if they have TERRIBLE customer support, they still make other competitors shake in their boots when it comes to prices as they ALL have TERRIBLE customer supports XD

  11. Wait a minute guys. Make sure muna natin na walang Flare X2 na lalabas in a few weeks or months after release. CM’s Logic

  12. Nice! buti buhay na buhay pa multiple local phones ko so I wasn’t in a hurry to get a new one. Those who bought firefly intense LTE must be kicking themselves now lelz.

    Can’t wait for the camera reviews.

  13. Calling MyPhone and Starmobile! Tama na ang pagrelease ng bulok na RIO! Time to level up your game. Sinimulan na ng Cherry Mobile! Nice Move talaga! At least may laban na sila sa bang for the buck. 🙂

    MyPhone at Starmobile natutulog sa pansitan. Hahahaha!

  14. Solid move ito from CM. Getting the Jiayu S3 is one of the best moves right now, maybe second from rebranding the Elephone P7000. Waiting for the response of other local brands.

  15. Quality, Design, Battery, Price Goes to ALCATEL. Bka 8Megapixel nnman ung True Res ng Camera. Good side, I guess it has better PPI and Screen than Alcatel Flash Plus. still hesitant to buy, what matters to me is the quality.

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